As sports bettors, we are always searching for a way to beat the spread. Some of us will spend hours on end researching lines and stats in order to make an informed decision, while others will simply rely on luck or superstition. Remember Paul, the sports betting octopus that went eight-for-eight at predicting winners during the 2010 World Cup (I do--I made a killing following his advice!)?
Relying on luck may work for some gamblers, but if you are a bettor that does not want to put his or her hard-earned money in the hands of an aquatic sea animal then basic strategy teasers are a wager that you should learn to incorporate into your betting arsenal.
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A little history….
Basic strategy teasers are a relatively new term in the NFL sports betting landscape, having first been coined in 2001 by professional gambler and handicapper Stanford Wong. The teasers, Wong concluded in his seminal book Sharp Sports Betting, are essentially blind wagers that can also be positive expected value plays.
The wagers take advantage of the exhaustive research that has been conducted on NFL key numbers, which are the most common margin of victories during games. A quick look at the key numbers will show that the most common margins of victory in the NFL are three and seven— sportsbooks know this and will base their lines around them.
The idea behind basic strategy teasers is to find 1.5-point to 2.5-point underdogs and 7.5-point to 8.5-point favorites and use a six-point teaser to move the spreads from what would otherwise be losses at three and seven points into wins.
A few numbers….
This season’s lines that fall within the basic strategy teaser guidelines have gone 43-7, which is a whopping 86 percent win rate. So the question is what exactly is your expected value on these teasers? Remember, a basic strategy teaser is a two-team wager in which both legs of the wager must win. To break even on a standard wager with -110 juice (which you can get at the 5Dimes online sportsbook), a gambler needs to come out on top 52.4 percent of the time.
But in order to break even on a basic strategy teaser, each leg must win 72.4 percent of the time. So while an 86 percent win rate sounds great, it is put into perspective once you realize that you need 72.4 percent to break even. Here is a quick look at your expected return on investment for every dollar you bet on a teaser. Each number represents the changing percentage that teasers win at. So as an example, if basic strategy teasers are winning at an 86 percent rate, then you can expect to make a $0.50 profit for every dollar you wager. Here is the breakdown:
.724: $0.00 (break even)
.75: $0.08 (profit)
Finding the actual win rate for basic strategy teasers over the years is a bit difficult because various sites have different records, but the most common information you can find, is that over the last 25 years the teasers have won at a 72 to 75 percent rate. So if you were to blindly bet all basic strategy teasers you would make anywhere from a $0.01 to $0.08 profit for every dollar you wager.
Through the first 10 Weeks of the NFL season basic strategy teasers have been extremely profitable and are returning a 50 percent profit on your investment. Of course, that number will fluctuate throughout the season. Therefore, while blindly betting every single teaser that qualifies will make you a profit, we advise that you bet the teasers with the most value, in order to keep your win rate as high as possible. If you are interested in a deeper analysis of actual NFL games, return to Doc’s Sports for our weekly NFL basic strategy teaser analysis. Remember to bet wisely, and may the spread be with you.
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